THE popularity of Apple’s competitors has led it to abandon its previous militant stance that any tablet featuring a screen smaller than its iconic iPad’s 9.7” display was some kind of mutant monstrosity.
Apple iPad Mini 8”
16GB £269, 32GB £349, 64GB £429 from www.apple.com/uk
But Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and Google’s Nexus 7 internet tablets have proved that for travelling and commuting at least, being able to hold one’s tablet with a single paw is a decidedly attractive selling point. So here we are, with a 7.9” screen iPad, the imaginatively named iPad Mini.
The iPad Mini is taking a lot of flak on forums, primarily due to its screen and its price. At £269 for the 16GB model, the Mini is a wallet-busting £100 more expensive than its closest Android rivals. But it is a quality piece of kit. Holding the Mini for the first time I was struck by how ludicrously light it is (308g, 32g less than the Nexus 7) and how tantalisingly thin and luscious the aluminium shell felt (it’s only 7.2mm thick).
However, despite the five-megapixel face detection enabled front-facing camera, the 1080p HD video recording ability, lightning-fast wifi connection and impressive ten hours of battery life – I felt cheated. For some unknown reason, Apple have decided to shun the retina screen perfection of the iPad 3 with a rather bog standard, in comparison, 1024 x 768 resolution display that can’t even play HD movies at full 720p.
For the average punter this won’t really matter, as this shiny, light piece of perfectly milled aluminium displays apps with aplomb. If you are an existing ticket holder to Apple’s walled garden of iTunes nirvana, everything will be how you like it. But for this gadget fanatic, Apple has been lazy when it comes to its usual level of pixel perfection.